Burton Lorne Cummings, Canadian musician, singer, and songwriter from Winnipeg, Manitoba. He is best known for leading The Guess Who during that band's most successful period from 1966 to 1975, and for a lengthy solo career.(born December 31, 1947) is a
|Birth name||Burton Lorne Cummings|
|Born||December 31, 1947|
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
|Genres||Rock, soft rock|
|Associated acts||The Guess Who, Bachman Cummings, The Deverons, Tim Thorney, Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band, The Carpet Frogs|
Cummings has been inducted into the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, and has been cited as one of the most influential performers in Canadian rock music. He has also been named as an officer of the Order of Canada and Order of Manitoba. The Burton Cummings Theatre in Winnipeg is named in his honor.
Cummings was born and raised in Winnipeg by his mother and maternal grandparents, after his father left the family during his infancy. He attended St. John's High School but dropped out at age 17 to pursue a career in music; the school granted him an honorary diploma in 2010.
In 1964 Cummings joined local R&B band the Deverons (not to be confused with an American group called the Devrons) on piano and vocals. The Deverons released two singles locally in Winnipeg. In early 1966, shortly after his 18th birthday, Cummings joined another regionally successful band, Chad Allan & The Expressions, to replace departed keyboardist Bob Ashley. Cummings also took on lead vocal duties in conjunction with group leader Chad Allan.
This group had been subjected to a record company publicity stunt in which their 1965 hit single "Shakin' All Over" was released anonymously with the message "Guess Who?" to trick listeners into thinking it was by a famous British Invasion band. Disc jockeys announced the single as being by someone called "Guess Who?", forcing the group to accept the nickname; their latest releases had been issued under the name Chad Allan & The Expressions with "Guess Who?" displayed prominently on the covers.
With The Guess WhoEdit
Just a few months after Cummings joined Chad Allan & The Expressions, Allan left his namesake band, leaving Cummings as the sole singer. The band's name was changed to simply The Guess Who, with Cummings becoming one of the band's primary songwriters in conjunction with guitarist Randy Bachman.Their first album under this name was It's Time in the summer of 1966.
The band became internationally successful upon the release of their album American Woman in 1970, which reached the top ten in several countries and made The Guess Who the first Canadian band to achieve a number one single in the United States. Bachman then left The Guess Who, and Cummings continued to lead the band through several more internationally successful albums. Cummings and drummer Garry Peterson were the only consistent members of the band during this era. Cummings disbanded The Guess Who in 1975 due to songwriting disagreements with guitarist Dominic Troiano.
After leaving The Guess Who, Cummings embarked on a solo career; his self-titled debut solo album was released in 1976 and reached the top ten on the Canadian albums chart. The single "Stand Tall" was an international hit and sold more than one million copies in the United States. In 1977 he was presented with a Juno Award as best male vocalist. Also in 1977 he provided backing vocals for the Eric Carmen album Boats Against the Current, and released his second solo album My Own Way to Rock.
His 1978 album Dream of a Child sold more than three million copies in Canada, making it one of the country's highest-selling albums up to that point. Due to a dispute with his record label, his 1980 album Woman Love was not released in the United States but was another substantial hit in Canada that earned Cummings another Juno Award. The 1981 album Sweet Sweet was much less successful. Cummings also dabbled in acting during this period, with an appearance in the film Melanie in 1982. Cummings joined a short reunion tour of the classic Guess Who lineup in 1983, which resulted in the live album Together Again! (known as The Best of The Guess Who - Live! in the United States). The solo albums Heart (1984) and Plus Signs (1990) were moderately successful in Canada.
After an extended break from recording, Cummings released the live album Up Close and Alone in 1997, featuring songs from throughout his career performed on solo piano. Cummings then convened another reunion of The Guess Who for an extensive nostalgia tour from 2000 to 2003. In July 2003 the group performed before an estimated audience of 450,000 at the Molson Canadian Rocks for Toronto SARS benefit concert. The show was the largest outdoor ticketed event in Canadian history.
In 2006, Cummings and Randy Bachman started a new duo project backed by the Canadian rock band The Carpet Frogs, but were unable to use the name The Guess Who, which had been trademarked by bassist Jim Kale. The project became known as the Bachman-Cummings Band or simply Bachman-Cummings, and performs occasionally whenever both men are available. They released the covers album Jukebox in 2007 and most recently performed live in 2020. They have been selected to perform for a celebration of Manitoba's 150th anniversary, to take place after delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Carpet Frogs have also served as Cummings's solo band. In 2008 Cummings released his first all-new solo album in 18 years, Above the Ground. In 2017 he released a book of poetry titled The Writings of B. L. Cummings, which sold successfully in Canada. He returned to solo performances in 2019, with shows featuring cover songs and original songs from throughout his career with The Guess Who and as a solo artist.
In 2001 Cummings and the rest of The Guess Who received honorary doctorates from Manitoba's Brandon University, which Cummings considered a singular honor as a high school dropout. That year Cummings also won three SOCAN Classic Awards,
On December 30, 2009, Cummings was named an officer of the Order of Canada by Governor General Michaëlle Jean, to mark a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to community, and service to the nation. On June 28, 2011, Cummings was awarded with a star on Canada's Walk of Fame; he had previously received a star as a member of The Guess Who in 2001. He was inducted into the Canadian Hall of Fame in 2016, and received a SOCAN lifetime achievement award in 2018.
Cummings married Cheryl DeLuca on September 22, 1981. He lived in Sherman Oaks, California for many years until moving to Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan in 2017. He is part owner of the Winnipeg-based restaurant chain Salisbury House. In May 2018 he was involved in a serious car accident in Los Angeles, requiring physical and mental therapy and the cancellation of several weeks of performances.
|1976||Burton Cummings||5||32||30||2× Platinum|
|1977||My Own Way to Rock||4||83||51||2× Platinum|
|1978||Dream of a Child||11||—||203||3× Platinum|
|The Best of Burton Cummings||—||—||—||2× Platinum|
|1994||The Burton Cummings Collection||—||—||—||—|
|1997||Up Close and Alone||29||—||—||Platinum|
|2008||Above the Ground||16||—||—||—|
|CAN AC||CAN||CAN Country||US
|1976||"Stand Tall"||1||4||—||10||2||—||7||Burton Cummings|
|"Timeless Love"||13||44||—||—||23||—||81||My Own Way to Rock|
|"My Own Way to Rock"||—||38||—||74||—||—||—|
|"Your Back Yard"||—||63||—||—||—||—||—|
|1978||"Break It to Them Gently"||1||9||—||85||—||—||—||Dream of a Child|
|1979||"I Will Play a Rhapsody"||3||20||—||—||38||—||—|
|"Takes a Fool to Love a Fool"||—||—||19||—||—||33||—|
|"Meanin' So Much"||14||75||—||—||—||—||—|
|"Draggin' 'Em Down the Line (Live with Henry Small)"||33||85||—||—||—||—||—||single only|
|1980||"Fine State of Affairs"||30||10||—||—||—||—||—||Woman Love|
|"One and Only"||48||78||—||—||—||—||—|
|1981||"You Saved My Soul"||12||31||—||37||22||—||47||Sweet Sweet|
|1982||"Mother Keep Your Daughters In"||24||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"Something Old, Something New"||26||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|1985||"Whatever Happened to Your Eyes"||27||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|1990||"Take One Away"||6||16||—||—||—||—||—||Plus Signs|
|"One Day Soon"||27||60||—||—||—||—||—|
|"The Rock's Steady"||—||97||—||—||—||—||—|
|2004||"With God on Our Side/The Brycer"||—||29||—||—||—||—||—||single only|
|2008||"We Just Came from the U.S.A."||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||Above the Ground|
|2019||"Market My Letters"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"A Few Good Moments"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
- California Dreaming (1978)
- "Among the Yesterdays" (Music by Fred Karlin / Lyrics by Robb Royer)
- "Keep it in the Family" (Music and Lyric by Cummings)
- Voices (1979)
- Melanie (1982)
- "You Saved My Soul" (Written by Cummings)
- "Real Good" (Written by Cummings)
- "Something Old, Something New" (Written by Cummings)
Collaborations with Randy BachmanEdit
- 2006 Bachman-Cummings Songbook – Compilation that features tracks from The Guess Who, Burton Cummings and Bachman–Turner Overdrive
- 2006 The Thunderbird Trax – A compilation of previously unreleased material recorded by Bachman and Cummings circa 1987
- 2007 Jukebox – Bachman & Cummings album that features covers of songs by artists such as Bob Dylan, The Shadows and The Beatles
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- Blistein, Jon (March 9, 2020). "Randy Bachman, Burton Cummings Announce First U.S. Tour Together in a Decade". Rolling Stone. Retrieved September 6, 2021.
- Jukebox - Bachman Cummings | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic, retrieved September 6, 2021
- "Concert celebrates 150th anniversary of Manitoba joining Confederation - Winnipeg". Retrieved August 29, 2021.
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- Ivor Levene
- "Burton Cummings' Up Close and Alone tour offers more intimate rock 'n roll setting". Peninsula News Review. October 4, 2019. Retrieved August 21, 2021.
- Squire, J. P. "Review: Cummings performs Greatest Hits Vol. 2". Daily Courier. Retrieved August 21, 2021.
- "Canadian rock 'icons' get honorary degrees". CBC News. May 28, 2001. Retrieved September 6, 2021.
- Larry LeBlanc (December 8, 2001). "SOCAN recognized McLaughlin, Klees, Bachman and Cummings". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media: 74–. ISSN 0006-2510.
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- "History | Salisbury House". salsmb. Retrieved September 6, 2021.
- "Burton Cummings Recovering After A "Very Bad" Car Crash". FYIMusicNews. May 18, 2018. Retrieved September 6, 2021.
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